For the longest time as a business owner, I was too worried about chasing “business,” aka money. I would say yes to anything and anyone just to close a deal. It’s obvious why the “yes” attitude is cancerous. What’s also cancerous, which is a topic very few seem to touch-on, is doing business with people who don’t respect you.
Respect is a big thing in our personal lives, but I feel all too often I see young business owners and entrepreneurs lose sight of this in their professional lives. Trust me, I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty when it comes to doing business with the wrong people early on.
So let’s talk about the importance of ONLY doing business with people who truly respect you. Gone are the days of the 1980 corporate asshole who thinks intimidation and ego is the way to do business. We’re in a new era of business, but more so, we have to make sure we’re conducting our business with the right people, no matter the situation or how good the money is.
Is Respect A Value For You?
Last month I spoke about how finding my value system was huge for me. Not only are values great to have for yourself personally, but I think having a value system for your business is key, too. Over the years, through trial and error, we have implemented a value system and a standard for people AgencyFlare will only do business with.
Although our values aren’t written down in stone, they simply go as follows: Do business with people you like. Do business with people who understand your worth. Do business with people you believe in. And most of all, do business with people you know you can help!
Respect is a mandatory value for me at this stage of my business life. I’ve outgrown doing business with people who suck; it’s that simple. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put up with someone’s bullshit just because we were doing ‘business’ together. Not worth it, not even in the slightest form.
The old saying, you are who you hangout with is HUGE for me! My biggest mantra in my personal life is about the importance of sticking with winners. The same goes for business. If you surround yourself with miserable clients, you’re more prone to do miserable work and attract more miserable clients. When I look at one of the lower points in my business, it’s not because my business wasn’t making money, it’s because I was dealing with clients who didn’t respect me. Guess what?! I was miserable just like them! If you want your business to flourish, start making respect a must have value for you and your clients.
Stop Justifying When People Are Assholes.
I don’t mean to sound so blunt, and my intent is definitely not to be rude or disrespectful, but I have to call it like it is. All too often in business, we justify people being assholes and it’s time to stop. There is no need for it, and personally I have zero tolerance for it.
I can’t tell you how many different occasions people have tried to take advantage of me. I would always justify it as “they are just playing hardball” or “that’s just who they are,” etc… I was naive. I was dealing with the wrong people, and I was afraid to admit it because that meant I’d have to change who I was dealing with.
You can play ‘hardball’ and have a tough standard in business, ALL WHILE doing it diligently and respectfully. The best in the business all know how to be very diplomatic. They don’t get walked on, they also don’t walk on people. It HAS to be a very healthy balance of both.
If you’re dealing with someone who is flat out disrespectful, it’s time to move on- even if there is money on the table. I know from experience that no matter what the financial numbers look like, business will eventually go south.
What Do Your Clients Say About You? (GASP!)
The best question to ask yourself when it comes to respect and business is “What do your clients say about you to other people?”
In the book “Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You Got,” Jay Abraham talks about the difference between clients and customers. The actual English breakdown is shocking.
The literal definition of ‘client’ is “one which is under the protection of another.”
Think about that. It’s more than just a transaction. It’s protection, it’s a relationship, it’s RESPECT.
So with all that said, honestly ask yourself; What do your CLIENTS say about you when you’re not in the room? Do they respect you? Or even more importantly, do you respect them? Are they customers or are they CLIENTS to you?
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